Percy Jackson and The Sea of Monsters: Book Review

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Percy Jackson and The Sea of Monsters is the second instalment of Rick Riordan’s Olympians series. After Talia’s Tree is poisoned, and Percy finds out Grover is in danger, Percy, Annabeth, and Percy’s new found Cyclops brother Tyson, set out on a quest to find grover and the golden fleece that will save the camp. Percy and his friends receive help from unlikely people, and face dangers like no other. They must work together, forget all their differences and trust one another in order to save the camp.

Percy and his friends struggle with forgiveness, pride, and jealousy in the thrilling instalment of Riordan’s series. Like always, Riordan creates characters that are easy to relate to, even considering the different circumstances between the characters and reality. As always, there is the constant worry, and fear that the beloved characters are going to experience something bad, and in this book, there is a new challenge, and danger lurking around every corner. The shocks keep on coming up until the last page with the resurrection of a child of the big three, who, just like Percy, is a threat to Olympus and The Gods.

Not only is the danger prominent in the novel, but there is also a noticeable amout of character development. Within Percy, and his friends, it’s easy to see that they aren’t just kids any more. They’re growing up, they’re maturing, they are becoming the heroes that their world needs.

Riordan continues to amaze and educate me with his knowledge of myth and legend, and as the series continues I expect to learn more, and experience more with Percy Jackson and his friends.

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Book To Screen Adaptations: The Good and The Bad

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Lately, I’ve noticed that there have been excessive amount of book to screen adaptations. Respectively, they’ve been around for years, but ever since the success of book franchises like Harry Potter and Twilight they seem to be popping up left right and centre. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining, some of my favourites are being adapted on to the big screen, but I can’t help but feel weary about what that means for the novels themselves.

The thing that worries me, is the intentions of those who make the movie. I can’t help but wonder if some people, who adapt a novel to screen, whether it be television or movies, are more worried about making money, than they are making an honest movie.  Take the Percy Jackson novels for example. They are great teen novels. They’re equal parts action, comedy, and thriller, but the movies just don’t do them justice. Then there are other franchises, like Harry Potter, that keep relatively close to the story line. Admittedly, I have only read the first two novels, but I once had a conversation with my friend, who has read all the novels about the story, and she thought I had read the books, just from the amount of stuff I knew from the movies.

There’s also a lot of TV shows that come from books. I feel like most of those shows have a lot more success than movies based on books. Look at shows like The Walking Dead. Not everything in AMC’S version is directly from the graphic novels. Daryl Dixon definitely didn’t come from the comics, but they make it work. That’s the problem I have when books are adapted to movies, they don’t make the changes work. They’ll make all these changes to appeal to all these different crowds but forget they already have a crowd that they should be trying to appeal too! Us! The readers! Books aren’t just a hobby for us, they’re apart of us. It’s like we have a million different personalities and one personality matches with a book. But when they change things, to appeal to different crowds, or the change things and it doesn’t work properly to us, we get disappointed.

I understand that not every movie will be the same as the book, I don’t expect it to be. But I like to walk into a theatre and hope that the writers, actors, directors and producers will make the changes work. So that’s what I’m hoping for. I’m hoping that all the upcoming adaptations work.

 

but like always, books are better than movies.

Book to Movie Comparison: Divergent

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WARNING! SPOILERS AHEAD!

 

I recently was able to go see the movie adaptation of Veronica Roth’s Divergent. I could be very nit picky and go into great detail about all the changes, but there was really only a few that I found really irritating.  The first being Peters personality.

In the book, Peter has a very significant personality that consists mostly of violence and brutality. In the movie however, these aspects of his character were dulled down. Its evident he is still a jerk, but I felt there was still something missing. Not showing the violent side to his character, and the lengths he would go to, to show he was best (Including the eye-stabbing) will make it harder to understand the importance of his attempted change in the later books/movies. It wont be as significant to those watching.

Secondly, where is Uriah? Uriah is a much loved character in the novels, and leaving him out of the first movie seemed like torture. His name is seen on the ranking board, and there is a Uriah look-a-like during the Zipline scene, but there was no actual Uriah. He will be in the next movies, but, much with Peters personality, I think it will be difficult to have the shock factor of his Divergence without the background story. The shock definitely wont be as prominent.

Thirdly, Tris’s fear landscape. Not only did they reduce her six fears to five (Four and Five simply does not have the same ring to it as Four and Six) the changed her intimacy fear to border on sexual assault. For a fan of the books, this seemed like an unnecessary addition to her fears, and was just downright uncomfortable for us all.

There were other changes that I didn’t like at first, but after reconsideration, decided they weren’t so bad.

The altered ending which featured Jeanine shutting down the simulation annoyed me a little at first, but after a while I think that the increased amount of appearances of Jeanine aided in the character development, and I cant wait to see what Kate Winslet does next with the character.

At first, the part where Tris is told that she is out of dauntless, seemed unnecessary to me. I soon realised it was there to portray how desperate Tris was to be a part of the Dauntless, and to prove to everyone that she was brave enough, and worth it. It was a great way to capture Tris’s thoughts, without her having to say anything.

The movie did stay relatively close to the novel and often took likes directly from the book. Overall it’s a great movie and captured the world Tris lives in perfectly. It’s a must see movie, but I recommend reading the books first. Like always the book it better than the movie.

Divergent: Book Review

 

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Divergent is a fast paced, Dystopian novel that follows the life of Tris Prior. Tris grew up in a world split into five different factions. Each faction has its own personal attribute that the members of that faction must follow. The Erudite value knowledge, the Candor value honesty, the Amity value peace, the Abnegation value selflessness and the Dauntless value bravery. Tris however is special. She finds out that she does not fit into one individual faction, she is different. She must hide what she is from everyone she cares about, or risk being killed. She is Divergent. She is seen as dangerous.

Veronica Roth does an amazing job at keeping the story moving. It is always interesting, there are always new, exciting things happening and you just cant put it down.

Tris is also a character you find it easy to relate to. Not only is the story interesting, it also teaches many great lessons.

From reading this book, you can learn that your life is completely your own. You learn that it is up to you to choose who you are, and who you want to be, regardless of what anyone else wants. It teaches you that it’s okay to be scared sometimes, and it’s okay to feel pain. It teaches you that you’re allowed to want to be more than what’s expected from you.

I think the most important lesson is that you have to move on. In the last few pages of a book, something tragic happens, and Tris lets herself breakdown for 5 seconds. 5 seconds of weakness. After those five seconds she gets back up and moves on. I think it’s important to let yourself have those moments of weakness, but its even more important that you remember to get up and move on.

That’s what I found myself doing at the end of this series, having a few minutes of weakness to process everything that happened throughout the trilogy, and then getting up and moving on. Overall its a great beginning to a great trilogy and I can’t wait to see what Veronica Roth comes out with next.

 

So what faction do you think you’d be a part of? Brave like the Dauntless, intelligent like the Erudite, peaceful like the Amity, honest like the Candor, or selfless like the Abnegation? Or do you think you’re different, like Tris, do you think you have what it takes to be Divergent?